Born and raised just outside of Philadelphia, Jeffrey D. Welsh began his career on the performance side of the entertainment industry. Following undergraduate studies at The Hartt School of Music in West Hartford, Connecticut, Mr. Welsh moved to Los Angeles to pursue his first love as a professional saxophonist while earning a Masters of Music degree from the University of Southern California. After several years of recording for television and film, as well as touring internationally, Mr. Welsh decided his skill set would be best served on the business side of the entertainment industry, and headed to Pepperdine Law School in Malibu, California in 2010.
It was at Pepperdine where Mr. Welsh met Luke Stanton and began his foray into the legal cannabis community, entrenching himself into California corporate formation and criminal defense in both Los Angeles and Ventura Counties during law school and into his first year of professional practice.
In June of 2014, Jeffrey accepted a position in Corporate Business Affairs at the largest talent agency in the world, William Morris Endeavor, now WME | IMG, while simultaneously continuing to work in the legal cannabis industry part time. In this unique position, Mr. Welsh’s goal was to develop an understanding of the nuanced entertainment industry while concurrently connecting entertainer-advocates with projects and groups actively working in the cannabis space. Mr. Welsh was able to develop relationships with some of the most visible entertainers under WME representation, and is currently facilitating deals for several of those entertainers in the legal cannabis industry.
In an effort to return to his musical roots, Mr. Welsh moved to the Personal Appearance Department at WME in February of 2015. In that same month Mr. Welsh co-founded the Frontera Law Group with Luke Stanton, and joined Frontera full time in July of 2015. Through aggressive networking and an unrelenting desire to be the first mover in the cannabis to entertainment/media space, Mr. Welsh fostered an extensive network with the current and future tastemakers of the entertainment industry to facilitate deal flow between these two industries.
In April of 2017, Mr. Welsh co-founded a full-service creative agency, Composite, with Cody Tesnow, Charles Hayes, Duco Muller, and Luke Stanton. Composite helps guide and grow brands in the legal cannabis industry, and specializes in creative & content production, marketing research & strategy, and product development.
By navigating this unique path, Mr. Welsh is sensitive to specific legal issues involved in entertainment and cannabis coming together, such as intellectual property, endorsements, licensing, criminal and civil liability and other business and legal considerations. Mr. Welsh and Frontera have been recognized as national
thought leaders in the cannabis industry by Entrepreneur Magazine (named as one of the Top 100 Cannabis Leaders in 2018), and by MG Magazine (named as one of the Top 50 companies to work for in the cannabis industry in 2018).
Music has always remained a tremendously positive outlet of creativity for Mr. Welsh, and he continues to utilize that passion for creative expression by performing live saxophone and DJ sets as frequently as possible in the greater Los Angeles area.
GMR Executive Spotlight Q&A –
Full birth name: Jeffrey Dennis Welsh
Title: Co-Founder of Frontera, Co-Founder of Composite
Company: Frontera Law Group, Composite Agency
Years at current company: 5 years at Frontera, 2.5 years at Composite
University of Hartford – Bachelor of Music, Saxophone Performance – Graduated May 2007
University of Southern California – Master of Music – Graduated May 2009
Pepperdine University School of Law – Juris Doctor – Graduated May 2013
Most successful professional accomplishment before cannabis: In college I became the first saxophonist to ever win the Van Rooy Competition, which is the largest monetary undergraduate music competition in the United States. I was fortunate enough to also perform a United States premier of Takashi Yoshimatsu’s Cyber-Bird concerto for saxophone and full orchestra. At USC, I performed with both the Hollywood Bowl and Los Angeles Philharmonic orchestras.
Company Mission: Frontera’s corporate mission is to provide invaluable strategic advice for companies in and around the cannabis industry through an ecosystem of cannabis thought leaders in an effort to expedite and facilitate successful and sustainable cannabis businesses.
Composite’s corporate mission is to elevate brands into a legal and universally respected cannabis industry that contributes to the well-being of society.
Company’s most successful achievement: For Frontera, I am most proud of the fact that we are the largest cannabis focused law firm in the State of California, both in terms of number of clients represented (over 300) and in size of our staff.
Frontera have been recognized as national thought leaders in the cannabis industry by Entrepreneur Magazine (named as one of the Top 100 Cannabis Leaders in 2018), and by MG Magazine (named as one of the Top 50 companies to work for in the cannabis industry in 2018).
Has the company raised any capital (yes or no): No
Any plans on raising capital in the future? For Composite yes, for Frontera as a law firm we are unable to take on growth capital.
Most important company 5 year goal:
For Frontera – to continue organically expanding our bandwidth, and our ecosystem of partners in an effort to maintain preeminence in California.
For Composite – to have at least 2 brands that we created in-house be acquired!